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UN Extends Iraq Development Fund For One More Year

UNITED NATIONS -- The United Nations Security Council has renewed for another year a development fund for Iraq.

The fund was set up for the country’s humanitarian needs, economic renewal, and infrastructure repairs after the United States-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The extension is a victory for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who specifically addressed the council in a letter earlier this month.

“We are happy to have 12 months extension of the amenities that will help Iraq with its projects to rebuild and reconstruction in Iraq,” said Hamid Al-Bayati, the Iraqi permanent representative to the UN.

Several of the council's 15 members argued that the fund activities should be extended for six months only.

The fund, which uses proceeds from oil and gas exports, replaced the oil-for-food program under Saddam Hussein that allowed Iraq to use some oil revenues for the monitored purchase of humanitarian supplies.